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RE: Who Let John Patrick Shanley Have a Twitter

Hey Elena,

I was tickled with your recent blog post.

In response to your post :

“Who Let John Patrick Shanley Have a Twitter

I too am familiar with the Twitter of JPS and can’t help but feel similarly. I understand that Twitter is an informal platform in which people are free to express themselves in any way they see fit. However, if JPS is going to put this content on the public web, I’m going to feel free to discuss it.

For me, Shanley’s twitter is an immaculate, hyperbolic symbol of most straight-white-male art. It’s self-important, elitist, and empty.

I do not think it is a coincidence that I became familiar with JPS’s tweets through an avid follower and fan of his, Timothée Chalamet. I am a huge fan of straight, white male actor Chalamet and his work, but every time he retweets Shanely, the artist in me dies a little, or is maybe fired up; it’s hard to tell the difference sometimes. As a younger generation, of which Chamalet has a popular voice, I hope we can push towards art that is something other.

The sentence structure of Shanley’s tweets is confusing and imagistic and once you parse out the thought, it truly makes no sense, yet something in it draws people in. It feels to me like a grand symbol of artists making work because it feels good to their own image or identity, with little to no point to the work itself. It feels to me like a grand symbol of the liberal elite who hide behind heightened vocabulary and three year long sentences. They are smarter than you; that’s why you don’t understand. When in actuality, if they had a real point to make, wouldn’t it be easier and certainly more successful to say it straight out? In contrast, I think of artists and academics like Junot Diaz who are actually doing the work to produce full, deep, and yet comprehensible work. (Junot Diaz does not use Twitter, but you can follow @JunotDiazDaily for an unofficial consortium of all things Diaz).

I digress.

But as Shanely so deeply puts it, “Don’t ask me what’s new. Are you a thief? When you reach out, are your hands offering dried flowers or just awakening blooms? If I throw you down and write on your breasts, be assured my lyric will have green shoots aplenty. My hands are not empty. Leave me with more, or leave me.”

We cannot qualify who or what makes an artist.
But I believe in art as a vehicle, as a medium towards something better.
We are consumers and creators, consciously.
And we can do better.
We can demand more from our community of developing, young artist.
As I write that sentence, I think of KIL Claps Back, and I feel a warmth and a smile emerging from inside me.

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